China Readings for March 23rd

  • China to Gamblers: Come to Cambodia – Forbes – In the most recent deal, the Cambodian government sold off more than 130 square miles of a national park to a Chinese developer, Tianjin Union Development Group, which promises “extravagant feasting and revelry” and has already cut a 40-mile road through virgin forest that’s habitat to endangered tigers and elephants, and sent the people who lived in these lands for generations off packing.
  • U.S. Moves to Ease Limits on Use of Data in Terror Analysis – NYTimes.com – The guidelines will lengthen to five years — from 180 days — the center’s ability to retain private information about Americans when there is no suspicion that they are tied to terrorism, intelligence officials said. The guidelines are also expected to result in the center making more copies of entire databases and “data-mining them” — using complex algorithms to search for patterns that could indicate a threat — than it currently does.
  • China’s battle to preserve Party purity – FT.com – These observations suggest that the reformers are becoming more assertive in the debate about how and why the party must embrace change and become more accountable. But it would be rash to conclude that this means the road is open for radical change. The emphasis on purity in the CCP could simply mean it is intent on cleansing itself of rogue elements, not ceding its primacy when it comes to control.
    It is more than likely that strong vested interests within the party and the military will try to frustrate the reform agenda at every level on major issues. The essential institutional conditions for economic progress, such as the rule of law, neutral contract enforcement, due process, and social justice, may prove difficult, if not impossible, to deliver. For these reasons, China’s leadership change will prove to be the most important since Deng Xiaoping changed the country’s course 30 years ago.

    The writer is senior economic adviser to UBS, and author of Uprising: Will Emerging Markets Shape or Shake the World Economy

  • John Edwards is First Name Uncovered in ‘Millionaire Madam’ Investigation – DNAinfo.com – A call girl working for alleged "Millionaire Madam" Anna Gristina told investigators she was paid to have sex with former U.S. Sen. John Edwards when he was in New York raising money for his failed presidential bid, DNAinfo has learned.
  • "Lost" Great Wall of China Segment Found? – A forgotten section of the Great Wall of China has been discovered deep in the Gobi Desert—and outside of China—researchers say.

    With the help of Google Earth, an international expedition documented the ancient wall for roughly 100 kilometers (62 miles) in a restricted border zone in southern Mongolia in August 2011.

  • Memo Adds to Doubt on Rehnquist’s Denials – Adam Liptak – NYTimes.com – “The fact that a justice and a chief justice lied in order to advance himself,” Mr. Prettyman said, referring to Chief Justice Rehnquist in his confirmation hearings, “the fact that he thought the way he did about Brown — which was that it would be a national disgrace — those facts alone justify an exploration of what happened.”
  • U.S. to expand marine bases in W. Pacific : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri) – The United States plans to spread bases of its Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) to a total of three locations in the western Pacific as part of the review of the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan.

    According to sources, U.S. government officials have proposed to their Japanese counterparts that the realignment of the Marine Corps' MAGTF, which is currently located only in Okinawa Prefecture, will also be sent to Guam and Darwin, Australia, as part of the realignment plan.

  • China factories slumping amid low demand – Economic Report – MarketWatch – Chinese factory activity is slowing sharply, dragging on employment amid a deepening slowdown in global demand and aggravated by a stall in domestic consumption, according to March survey data showing new orders at a four-month low.

    A preliminary reading of HSBC’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for March, released Thursday, printed at 48.1 on a 100-point scale, down from a final reading of 49.6 in February.

  • In China, the bats of rumor take wing – China Media Project – China is now possibly, apparently, invisibly in the midst of political turmoil at highest levels. In the wake of the public removal of Bo Xilai (薄熙来) last week as top leader in the municipality of Chongqing, there have been mounting rumors and hints, vague sketches of intrigue. Gunshots heard, say some, at the very heart of power. A mysterious black Ferrari, driven by an unknown man of possible consequence, crashing and burning on the capital’s outskirts (then the story swept under the rug of “harmony”). Finally, suggestions even of a thwarted coup attempt by China’s number nine, security chief Zhou Yongkang (周永康).

    Of course, as several foreign correspondents have rightly remarked today, it’s impossible to say anything with certainty about what’s happening — and difficult, in fact, to say much of anything at all.

  • Another Chongqing Mystery: Ex-Police Chief Wang Lijun’s Patents – China Real Time Report – WSJ
  • Proview Says Talks With Apple Over IPad Trademark Stalled – Businessweek
  • 魅力惠 亚洲顶尖奢侈品会员制购物社区 600个国际品牌官方合作伙伴
  • Neiman Marcus to Sell Items Online in China – WSJ.com – Neiman Marcus Group Inc. plans to become the latest luxury name to dive into the Chinese market. But the splash it hopes to make will be online—an unusual move for a market where high-end shoppers favor brick-and-mortar buys over the click of a mouse.

    The Dallas-based retailer is paying $28 million for a stake in Chinese fashion website Glamour Sales Holding Ltd., marking its first international foray. Neiman hopes the deal will help it roll out its own site to sell luxury clothing and accessories to Chinese shoppers by the end of the year, said Chief Executive Karen Katz in an interview. Neiman didn't disclose the size of the stake.

  • 湖北通城广电局官员醉驾被查 叫嚣断公安局网_新闻_腾讯网 – 据《长江商报》报 道湖北省通城县广播电视局副局长徐某醉酒驾驶无牌轿车回家,被当地民警查获,徐某指使人停掉了警用步话机,还扬言开除处警民警女儿。目前,徐某因涉嫌危害公共安全罪被刑拘。
  • 薄熙来错误定性:意识形态或为“病根”_多维新闻网
  • 薄熙来模式挑战科学发展观 违背“党的纯洁性”_多维新闻网
  • Tiananmen Square: Uncertainty in Beijing and the Ultimate Taboo – China Real Time Report – WSJ – But if either Baidu or the government had tweaked search restrictions, then the tweaks didn’t last. Similar searches midday Thursday produced either no hits or heavily censored results. A Baidu spokesman declined to comment.

    The crackdown – during which government officials ordered troops to fire on unarmed demonstraters, killing hundreds – has long been a forbidden subject online. Searches for “June 4,” “Tiananmen massacre” and other direct references on search engines or on social-media services usually lead nowhere or to anodyne content. China’s Internet censors and netizens often play a game of cat and mouse in trying to slip mentions through, leading to bans on phrases such as “May 35,” another way of saying June 4, and “Tankman,” the nickname for the anonymous activist who famously stood alone before a line of tanks.

  • 官方《环球时报》论薄熙来去职事件_多维新闻网 – 相信党中央,这成了中国社会在声音纷杂时的整体理性”
  • Special Report: Chinese firm helps Iran spy on citizens | Reuters – A Chinese telecommunications equipment company has sold Iran's largest telecom firm a powerful surveillance system capable of monitoring landline, mobile and internet communications, interviews and contract documents show.
    The system was part of a 98.6 million euro ($130.6 million) contract for networking equipment supplied by Shenzhen, China-based ZTE Corp to the Telecommunication Co. of Iran (TCI), according to the documents. Government-controlled TCI has a near monopoly on Iran's landline telephone services and much of Iran's internet traffic is required to flow through its network…
    The ZTE-TCI documents also disclose a backdoor way Iran apparently obtains U.S. technology despite a longtime American ban on non-humanitarian sales to Iran – by purchasing them through a Chinese company.

    ZTE's 907-page "Packing List," dated July 24, 2011, includes hardware and software products from some of America's best-known tech companies, including Microsoft Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co, Oracle Corp, Cisco Systems Inc, Dell Inc, Juniper Networks Inc and Symantec Corp.

    ZTE has partnerships with some of the U.S. firms. In interviews, all of the companies said they had no knowledge of the TCI deal. Several – including HP, Dell, Cisco and Juniper – said in statements they were launching internal investigations after learning about the contract from Reuters.

  • UPDATE 2-Deloitte quits second Chinese firm as auditor fears grow | Reuters – The Daqing resignation came a week after Deloitte quit as auditor of Boshiwa International Holdings, which holds the licence to make Harry Potter- and Bob the Builder-branded clothes, attracting unwanted attention to one of the Big Four accounting firms.

    "That's two in a row now for Deloitte. If that trend continues it will start to raise some eyebrows," said Paul Gillis, visiting professor of accounting at Peking University and author of the China Accounting Blog.

  • Mother Jones Investigates Walmart’s China Suppliers | China Hearsay – t will be interesting to see what sort of reaction this piece gets, and whether or not the story will be picked up by the mainstream media. Although Mother Jones is widely read, it’s not the New York Times or Wall Street Journal. It’s certainly no coincidence that of any company out there to receive the same sort of scrutiny that Apple has enjoyed these days, Mother Jones chose Walmart. If there is one company, perhaps aside from Goldman Sachs, that makes the political Left see red (so to speak), it’s definitely Walmart (note that Mother Jones is a progressive magazine).

    But this piece is definitely no hit job, nor is it a melodramatic Daiseyfication of an important trade issue.

  • Are Walmart’s Chinese Factories as Bad as Apple’s? | Mother Jones – Our fiction-free investigation finds that in many cases, the company's auditors are asleep on the job.
  • » Thar Be Dragons Rectified.name 正名 – We need a better grade of China bullshit. We need to ditch bullshit artists like Mike Daisey and embrace bullshit artistes like Edmund Backhouse. We need to rediscover the monopods, the blemmyes and anthropophagi, the forgotten Christian kings (helloooo, Prester John!) and deaths-by-a-thousand cuts that once made the Orient such an object of fascination. The truth will do as well, if we really must, but in any event let’s not allow our bullshit to be so small-time.
  • The Relevant Organs | The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2012 | Techland | TIME.com
  • Bali Attack Plot Shows Terrorist Threat Evolving in Indonesia | The Jakarta Globe – Jakarta/Kuala Lumpur. A foiled plot by suspected Islamic militants to attack and bomb targets in Bali, including a bar popular with tourists, marks an escalation of the violent threat in Indonesia as authorities race to stay ahead of rapidly evolving armed groups.
  • On Journalists Moonlighting as Big Ticket Speakers for Financial Firms « naked capitalism – So while it is possible to tread a careful line, the number of journalists who refused to talk to Starobin on the record suggests a lot of them have good reason for not wanting their practices aired. And while the excuse is that the reticence is due to concern over reader overreaction, if it doesn’t look right, odds are that it isn’t right.
  • Money Talks : CJR – Tett has plenty of company. Many journalists give paid speeches to businesses and business groups. And Wall Street, as it happens, is probably the top source of such engagements. Household names like Bank of America as well as obscure hedge funds, private-equity firms, and others in the financial world frequently hire journalists—including scribes who regularly cover Wall Street—to deliver speeches at events ranging from publicized conferences to small private dinners with select clients. Millions of dollars have flowed to journalists in speaking fees in recent years.

    Is this a scandal, a dark and an indelible stain on journalism, or really not such a big deal? What does Wall Street, which is all about the bottom line, after all, get from such engagements? Is this a matter of journalism ethics? Not surprisingly, what may at first seem a simple judgment call turns out to be a bit more complicated.

  • » Zheng-ing the Ming Rectified.name 正名
  • Shaun Rein speaker-Leading Authorities – Shaun Rein is the Managing Director of the China Market Research Group (CMR), the world’s leading strategic market intelligence firm focused on China. He is one of the world’s recognized thought leaders on strategy consulting in China.

    He is the author of the best selling book The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends that will Disrupt the World , published by John Wiley & Sons in the US. 

  • 西湖龙井头茶价格超黄金 部队机关成消费主力_网易新闻中心 – 1st pick of longjing tea more expensive by weight than gold. thank gift giving (corruption)
  • The Bo Xilai Drama Continues | China Power – liz economy's naivete @ elite chinese politics distressing. so good on environmental issues
  • Sex cult smashed, Chinese netizen reactions | Hao Hao Report
  • Letter from China: A Collage of Chinese Values : The New Yorker – THE NEW YORKER ONLINE ONLY
    LETTER FROM CHINA
    Dispatches by Evan Osnos.

    « Apple, China, and the TruthMain
    MARCH 21, 2012
    A COLLAGE OF CHINESE VALUES
    Posted by Evan Osnos

    I’ve been spending time with young Chinese people recently, talking about their beliefs and priorities (more on that soon), which has reminded me just how difficult a task it is to define Chinese values these days. So I was struck when I came upon these photos by the British photographer Adrian Fisk. The project, iSpeakChina, evolved, as he puts it, from a twelve-thousand-five-hundred kilometer journey through China, meeting people aged sixteen to thirty and giving them a paper on which they could write anything they chose. Fisk told me it has inspired his next project, iSpeakGlobal, which is supported by the United Nations Population Fund. I asked him some questions:

  • China Reins In Bo Xilai Chatter Online – WSJ.com
  • 市民超市买到四条腿鸡 专家称不会危害健康 _消费也理财-曝光台_新浪财经_新浪网
  • 【你有1条新私信】 四条腿的鸡能吃吗? | 新浪微博-随时随地分享身边的新鲜事儿
  • 党报称一线城市房价收入比高达15倍 民众难承受_中国经济网――国家经济门户
  • 政府未招标遭疑 三峡尼泊尔项目生变 – 产经 – 21世纪网
  • “贞操女神”涂世友宣布中止征婚 事件策划人现身(图)_资讯频道_凤凰网
  • 解放军报:反对和破除自由主义_资讯频道_凤凰网
  • Condom found in infant formula|Society|chinadaily.com.cn – A Hangzhou man got a rude shock while feeding his 14-month-old daughter recently.
    Li Jiaming, 28, says he found half a condom in his daughter's formula, a brand of milk powder produced by American pharmaceuticals giant Abbott Laboratories.
  • 人民大学化学系主任校内坠亡 为人幽默(图)_资讯频道_凤凰网
  • Insane Video: AH-64 Apache Crash | Defense Tech
  • After Bo Xilai, Which Way Is China’s Red Ferrari Headed? – Bloomberg – not terrible bloomberg editorial
  • Chinese Coup Rumors Run Wild Online, Then Disappear: Adam Minter – Bloomberg
  • Woody Speaks Mandarin: Disney Brings Chinese-Language Apps to iPad – Lauren Goode – Product News – AllThingsD
  • London Book Fair criticised for inviting only state-approved Chinese writers | Books | The Guardian
  • Hollow Threats – By Hu Xijin | Foreign Policy – Mitt Romney's aggressive harangues about China don't scare us. And does he really want to pick a fight with a nation of 1.3 billion people?

    BY HU XIJIN (Global Times Editor in Chief)

  • China Now Leads the World in New iOS and Android Device Activations
  • 西方犯谬误:毛主义作祟十八大_多维新闻网 – 西方谈十八大或中国政治改革真正应该关注的不是“毛主义”如何影响中国或中共未来,而是中国根深蒂固的传统政治文化,以及中国文化、历史对中共政治的影响。只要中共一党专政不变,只要毛泽东头像永远挂在天安门城楼,西方有关毛主义的各种说法就不会终止,西方片面化促使中国政治改革的意图就不会转变。但西方能够真实了解中国的土壤还是存在的,只是有时它们的理解会偏离合理轨道而已。
     
    胡锦涛2012年1月1日曾发文警戒中共党员,外国敌对势力正努力通过文化影响力或文化霸权西化和分化中国。《华尔街日报》等西方媒体解读时直接认为,胡锦涛发起新的文革。其实,胡锦涛所言非虚,毕竟过去的1年有关“中东革命浪潮席卷中国”的西方炒作是存在的。而美媒的“文革”解读则再次凸显了中国“软实力赤字”的严重性。在这里,中共需要认真思考一个问题:如何做好外宣工作,发展和强化软实力。
     
    为了增强中国文化的世界影响力,掌管宣传工作的李长春10多年来一直在强调外宣工作的重要性。但相比其他中共官员,他更倾向于提及“三个代表”和“科学发展观”等带有意识形态特征的措词,很容易引起西方国家的负面化看法,这从propaganda(宣传)一词就可以看出。为此,中共需要调整宣传策略,逐步适应国内外舆论及国际地位变化,在强调“走出去”的同时也要注重“引进来”,并增加对境外媒体报道的宽容度和包容心,以此让西方更为接近和了解真实的中国,少些偏执的雷人报道。
  • 人民日报-李长春参观中国国际广播电视信息网络展 – 本报北京3月21日电  (记者张烁)中共中央政治局常委李长春21日来到北京中国国际展览中心,参观了第二十届中国国际广播电视信息网络展览会。
  • 传俞正声将掌人大 成中共2号人物 _多维新闻网 – 台湾联合报3月21日报道称:权威消息证实,俞正声已进到建议名单中,有望跻身中共十八届政治局常委之列,好命的俞正声还可能成为中共第二号人物,接任吴邦国之职,出任下届全国人大委员长。

    对中共政界来说,对俞正声的安排不算意外,因为过去二十年,中共似有个不成文惯例,谁要出任上海市委书记,不仅能成中央政治局委员,还可能更上层楼,出任中共中央政治局常委。从江泽民、朱镕基,到吴邦国、黄菊,再到习近平,都如此,当然,中间要扣除比较倒霉的陈良宇。

    就算没有这个惯例,俞正声早已是各方接受的人物。家世显赫、政治过硬、资历人脉深厚的背后,更有现任中共高层的肯定和“老同志”的扶持。

    与薄熙来的高调张扬、汪洋的改革先锋形象不同,虽属“太子党”出身,俞正声却一贯低调务实,除了努力在其领地做出一番政绩外,对中共中央的号召,多是积极响应,却少有与中央的龃龉。

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